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Missional Family

Weekend Planner
• Wednesday, Apr 6 (7:30 PM): Young Adults Fellowship.
• Friday, Apr 8 (7:30 PM): Everglow Youth Fellowship.
• Saturday, Apr 9 (10 AM – 3 PM): Consistory and Leadership Team meetings
• Sunday, Apr 10 (Fifth Sunday in Lent)
— Youth Sunday School (9:30 AM)
— Membership Class (9:45 AM, Room 102).
— English Worship (11:00 AM, Second Floor). Chris Liu speaks on “Hope in Christ.”
— VBS Kickoff Informational Meeting (12:45, Worship Hall 2)
— Prayer Fellowship (1:30 PM, Room 150)
— Agape Family Group (4:00 PM, Fellowship Hall).

April 6, 2011

Dear Canaan EMers,

Most people would agree that Asian Americans are family-centered people. So much of today’s Asian media and pop culture center around the tensions between modern individualism and the so-called “traditional” family. In college, I was intrigued by Pa Chin’s critique of the dysfunctionally oppressive “traditional” Chinese family in his novel Family, written a century ago (I would not have read the book if I did not minor in East Asian studies). We may love, loathe, or leave the family. But for us Asian Americans, family is at the heart of our identity and culture.

The family is at the center of most churches, too. Why else would “Focus on the Family” be such a popular ministry? Unfortunately, it is so tempting to turn the family into an idol. In other words, rather than letting Jesus’ gospel transform our families, we uncritically allow our cultural understanding of family shape our church life. As a result churches often alienate people who are not attached to families in a church (e.g., singles, people who just moved into the area, widows, divorcees, orphans, etc). Children and youth ministries become baby-sitting programs designed to ensure academic success. Indeed, the tribal instinct is very strong and can be a hindrance to the Gospel.

This is why it is so important for us to learn how to redefine and reorient the meaning of family. While the bible assumes that the biological family (nuclear and extended) is a normal part of human life, it also speaks of including and caring for those who are marginalized from the traditional family. Indeed, Jesus redefined the family as those who hear his words and do his work. In other words, the family of God is not primarily a biological kinship, but a missional community. This means that when we participate in a church, both our biological families and our congregation ought to be reoriented outwardly for God’s mission in the world. Was that not the core message that Helen Lee shared during the recent Beyond Tiger Parenting workshop? I know one church that describes itself as a “village” – not a “family” – in order to make this point clear.

It is very difficult to care for people outside our biological family, but when a church is a “missional family,”  amazing things can happen. I have seen Canaan’s youth, young adults, and families with young children sacrifice time and energy to build a thriving community that welcomes everyone. We resist the temptation to withdraw into our private worlds. We are a missional family with a Christ’s message of reconciliation, healing, and blessing for all!

Tim Tseng

*** Announcements and updates ***

1. Wanted! A new URL for Canaan’s English Ministry website. Currently we use or, but it would be great to have an easy to remember domain name. Any suggestions?

2. Young Adults Fellowship has moved to Wednesday evenings. Contact Jonathan Weng for details.

3. This Sunday will be very special:
Membership class (in English) will be held in Room 102 (the Conference Room) at 9:45 AM. Last Sunday, the first class looked at the meaning and practice of baptism [Click this link for the class overview]. This Sunday, we will explore the meaning of the Lord’s Supper and basic Christian convictions. Even if you are not ready to be baptized or become a member of Canaan, this class can provide a good orientation to our church. So let me know if you can come so that I can prepare enough handouts!
Chris Liu, our former Youth Director, will be our guest speaker. Chris is currently serving as the High School counselor at EFC East Valley in Southern California and is finishing up his MDiv degree at Talbot School of Theology.
T.J. and Angela Hsieh, from American e-friends (AEF) and Bread of Life church, will share about their ministries in Taiwan. T.J. and Angela are Canaan missionaries. They coordinate our summer missions project in Taiwan, which is open for more participants from our church. Information about AEF can be found at:
The VBS kick-off Information Meeting will be held in Worship Hall 2 between 12:45-1:45 PM. Come and register your child – free gift for early registrations! Come and sign up to help out!

4. Holy Week and Easter Activities
– On Palm Sunday (Apr 17), our youth will lead worship! Come for a special treat!
– The English ministry Good Friday Service will be held on April 22 on the second floor (8-9:30 PM). This will be an opportunity to invite your friends to learn more about who Jesus is and what he did for us on the cross. Childcare will be provided.
Easter Sunday (Apr 24): We will celebrate a joint Easter baptism celebration (10-10:45 AM) followed by separate language worship services (10:45 AM – Noon). We will hold a “Prayer and Praise” worship in English on the second floor. Come and welcome our new members and celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ!

5. Share Your Faith Workshop! will be offered on Sunday afternoons in May (1:30-3PM) in English! The registration fee for the workshop is $10 per person for all five sessions (actual cost is $25). Childcare will be provided. Come and learn how to share the Good News of Jesus with your relatives, friends, and neighbors! For more information, contact: William Effendy (email William) (EM), Johnson Chiang (MM), and Paul Chen (TM). To register, go to To receive the $10 Canaan rate, enter “CTCC” as the discount code. Please register by April 17th!

6. Women’s Fellowship will volunteer at the CityTeam San Francisco on May 21, 2011. Please contact Crystal (email Crystal) for details.

7. The Canaan Family Retreat will be held June 17-19 at Sonoma State University []. Since it is Father’s Day weekend, we will have a father-son speaker tandem for the English and Youth retreats. Amos and Aizaiah Yong! For more information about Dr. Amos Yong, go to this link. Prices are $120 per person; $80 for ages 4 – 12yrs. 3yrs and under are free. Contact Joyce Chiang for more information. [Download: Retreat Registration Form English | Meal Only Registration] Please register by May 1st.

8. Taiwan Summer Missions! Is there a yearning in your heart to sing, dance and share God’s love? Good News! Applications for 2011 Taiwan Summer Missions are out! Come and join us in worship and sharing God’s word with the aborigines of Taiwan from June 30th to July 17th. Contact Jeremy Lee for more details (email Jeremy).

9. 2011 Vacation Bible School (8/2-8/6; Tue to Sat; 9am-12pm) – Join us for an amazing week of “PandaMania: Where God Is Wild About You! Psalm 139”. 2 Programs: a preschool program for kids ages 3 to those entering Kindergarten; and a program for kids entering 1st to 6th grade. Seeking energetic and children-loving youths and adults to join our PandaMania Team. Children Registration begins now! Seeking both youths and adults to join our VBS team. If you are interested in helping out, please talk to Nicole Lu or go to for more info.


About Tim Tseng, Ph.D.

I am Pacific Area Director of Intervarsity Christian Fellowship's Graduate and Faculty Ministries. I'm also a historian, theological educator, and pastor.


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English Service 10 AM (Worship Hall 3)

Worship Location

Enter through door 1 from rear parking lot.


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